Scripture Reading: I Peter 4:12-5:14.
Memory Verse: “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” (I Peter 4:19)
Our desires would be that the world would be without trials and suffering. However, as realists we know that even devout Christians face suffering and hardship. C. H. Spurgeon said, “You begin to reign the moment you begin to suffer well.”
Persecution can come in various forms. It can be vile slander or ridiculous false charges. It can come from not engaging in the evil others promote. The extreme is actual physical abuse. Whatever the mode, it should always force us nearer to the Heavenly Father.
Leadership has a grave responsibility to help the church and its individual members through difficult times. We should rally around those who are in testings and trials. So often they are shunned and even disfellowshipped.
These final 22 verses are a resounding conclusion to this enlightening epistle. May they always be a light in the dark times of oppression and discouragement
I thank thee, Lord, that all my joy
is touched with pain;
That shadows fall on brightest hours;
That thorns remain;
So that earth’s bliss may be my guide,
And not my chain.
- What is the necessary attitude toward severe tests and trials? I Peter 4:12-14; Acts 5:41.
- How important is the cause for our suffering? I Peter 4:15-16. If the cause is justified, do we need to be afraid? Luke 10:16; 12:8.
- To whom and why does the test come first? I Peter 4:17-18; Luke 12:48; Matthew 5:13.
- When we are called upon to endure trials, what should be our main concerns? I Peter 4:19; Romans 8:38-39.
- What appeal is given to the leaders of the church, and what is to be their attitude? I Peter 5:1-3; I Corinthians 9:23-27.
- Why are leaders not alone in the often-difficult tasks they perform? I Peter 5:4. Is this type of incentive selfish?
- Discuss the difference between self-exaltation and being exalted by God. I Peter 5:5-6. How does this affect our being used of God? II Timothy 2:21.
- Why is it difficult to commit obstacles to the Lord’s care? I Peter 5:7; II Samuel 22:3.
- Why should Peter’s warning concerning our adversary carry so much weight with us? I Peter 5:8-9; Luke 22:31-32.
- What is the result of conducting a ministry amid suffering? I Peter 5:10-11.
EXTRA-MILE QUESTION: Read I Peter 5:12-14. Discuss and provide information about Silvanus, Marcus, and Babylon.